Human Papillomaviruses (HPV) are members of papillomaviridae family a group of more than 150 related viruses. These are specifically known as papillomaviruses because of some of its types give rise to a wart or papilloma which are benign growths. Some of them are also associated with certain cancers and known as carcinogenic HPVs. More than 40 types of HPV viruses are easily transferred from one person to another by sexual contact anal and oral. Ithas estimated worldwide prevalence of HPV induced cancer in approximately 12-13%. Cervical cancer is the second largest cause of cancer deaths in women worldwide.According to World Health Organization it has been estimated that globally 510,000 cases per year and about 288,000 deaths occur due to cervical cancer.
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Currently, two U.S. FDA approved vaccines are commercially available namely Gardasil (Merck & Co., Inc.) and Cervarix (GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd.) for the treatment of HPV infections.The HPV therapeutic vaccines market is at a nascent stage and it would take approximately couple of decades to implement mass vaccination for preventingcervical cancer incidences. Gardasil is a quadrivalent vaccine and targets four HPV types (6, 11, 16 and 18) while Cervarix is bivalent vaccine and targets on two HPV types (16 and 18). It has been observed that neither of these HPV vaccines have been proven to provide complete protection against tenacious infections with other types of HPVs.
HPV therapeutic vaccines market is the most potential market as the annual worldwide incidences for cervical cancer is almost 0.5 million and for cancers of vulva and vagina its 40,000. In addition, to this annual incidence for high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) the precancerous condition of cervical cancer is almost 0.5 million globally. Thus, according to International Agency for Research and Cancer predicts the rate of HPV related cancer cases to rise 40% in near future. North America and Europe are major markets as the governments from major countries of these regions have publicly funded HPV vaccination.
Some of the market players in this industry segment are Merck& Co., Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd. While, ISA Pharmaceuticals (ISA101), Advaxis (Lovaxcin C), Coridon(It is funded by Allied Healthcare Group for HPV associated research) and Gentical (which is currently in the Phase III clinicaltrial)and all these products are in pipeline.